November market snapshot
Well, we will all have our opinions on what just happened! and we must all decide what the personal ramifications are for the foreseeable future.
As we have previously said, at Ocean we constantly review the headlines, the commentary, and the (trusted) industry opinion and predictions. More importantly, we are intrinsically linked to local sentiment and measure Bristol's real-time market activity. So once again let's take a look past the sensational headlines and review the market facts right now so that we can all make informed and prudent decisions about home moving.
The average price of property coming to the market dropped by 1.1% (-£4,159) in the last month, which despite the current financial uncertainty is actually in line with the average 1.1% drop recorded in November during the pre-pandemic years of 2015-2019. However, there are signs that more existing sellers, whose properties were already on the market and unsold, are willing to take their agents’ recommendations and reduce their prices in order to achieve a quicker sale says Rightmove.
"The proportion of properties seeing a reduction is only slightly up on pre-pandemic levels, though a slowdown in activity from last year’s frenetic market has led more sellers to be willing to reduce their asking price to agree a quicker sale: In October, 8% of unsold properties on Rightmove were reduced in the month, in line with the 7.5% of properties that were reduced in October 2019. However, it is double the 4% in October 2021 as the market becomes increasingly price sensitive and emphasises the importance of listening to your agent’s recommendation on pricing"
The Autumn statement will be made on Thursday 17th November. But the Chancellor, Jeremey Hunt, has already indicated there will be spending cuts and tax rises as the government seeks to fill the so-called financial 'black hole'. The base rate of interest is now 3.0% after the Bank of England raised the rate by 0.75% percentage points, its largest rise since 1989. Mortgage rates of 5% are set to become the norm.
The UK economy shrank by 0.2% in the three months to September (ONS) with the Bank of England warning the economy is likely to be in recession until 2024. Unemployment remains historically low but is expected to rise.
Buyer demand is still up by 4% on the more normal market of 2019, but down by 20% on October last year. First-time buyer properties continue to be the most affected sector, with year-on-year demand down by 26% in October, while second-stepper demand is down by 17%, and top of the ladder is down by 15%
Close to 104,000 property sales took place in September, on par with August according to data released by the HMRC. Quarter on quarter sales volumes was down just 0.6%. Rightmove report there has not been any significant increase in fall throughs or withdrawals in the immediate aftermath of the mini-budget. 80% of sellers outside of London believe they will be able to sell their property within 3 months according to 'On the market' portal.
Rightmove report a 13% uptick in new sellers in November compared to a year ago. Demand, albeit softening, continues to run above the pre-pandemic (2019) average. At 40 days the average time taken to sell a property in October is 4 days longer than this time a year ago. Although increasing, this remains considerably quicker than the pre-pandemic average of 63 days (Dataloft, Rightmove).
66,789 mortgages were approved in September, on par with the pre-pandemic 5-year average (Bank of England). However, approvals fell 10.3% compared to August, as the price of debt rose following the now-refuted growth plan.
The latest data from IMLA’s ( Mortgage Market Tracker showed that average intermediary case volumes decreased from 97 in Q2 to 93 in Q3 – a drop of just over 4%. The IMLA (Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association) pointed out that, despite this and likely in part due to house price increases, the Bank of England reported nearly £85bn in gross lending on all mortgages in Q3, the highest number seen since Q2 2021, when it was aided by the stamp duty holiday.
The IMLA also reported that intermediary confidence in the business outlook for their own firms remained stable, with 51% stating that they were ‘very confident', down slightly from 52% in Q2. There was a similar pattern for confidence in the outlook for the intermediary sector, with 91% of intermediaries confident overall, down from 93% in Q2.
Rightmove, Nationwide, and Halifax all report annual property price growth is softening, with price readjustments expected over the course of 2023. The average asking price of property coming to market in November fell by 1.1%., in line with the pre-pandemic norm (2015-2019). Asking prices fell in all regions of the UK (Rightmove).
“The plethora of predictions about what might happen to prices next year comes at a time when much is still uncertain, but what is certain is that the exceptional price growth of the last two years is unsustainable against the economic headwinds and growing affordability constraints. Home-owners who come to market in the final few months of the year tend to price lower to attract buyers in the lead-up to Christmas, and we’re hearing from agents that both existing and new sellers understand that to sell in the current market they need to price competitively. During the market frenzy, many agents said that they had to rip up the rule book on valuing properties due to bidding wars, but now they’re back in more familiar territory, and pricing right the first time is even more critical to securing a quick sale.” Tim Bannister Rightmove’s Director of Property Science
Tom Bill, head of UK residential research at Knight Frank, described October as a bad month for the UK property market. However, he added that it has not necessarily set the tempo for what comes next.
“As the impact of the mini-Budget fades, mortgage rates will calm down before stabilising. The downward pressure on prices will reduce to some degree as the economic and political backdrop becomes less disorientating. "However, after growth of 25% during the pandemic, we believe it’s a reasonable assumption that house prices have now peaked. We don’t expect the sort of cliff-edge moment seen during the financial crisis, but we expect prices to fall back to the level they were at in summer 2021 as rates normalise after 13 years.”
And for those needing to consider the market beyond Bristol here's a national summary courtesy of Rightmove.
As always, our teams are here to help in every way possible, get in touch with any questions or concerns.
Additional sources: Dataloft, Land Registry, National House Price Index, DLUHC
Mon 14 Nov 2022